PING K15 Driver Review: Out of the "Fire" and Into the Fairway

I tested PING's G15 driver a few weeks before I tried the newer PING K15 driver. I really liked the G15, and I encourage you to look at my PING G15 driver review of that club on this site. After all, the PING G15 driver is long, straight and forgiving, and what else could a golfer really want out of a club? But now that I've tested the K15 driver too, I think it's even better for slicers and mid- to high-handicappers. In fact, I can sum up this review by using only a single three-letter word - wow!

When it was launched, the PING K15 driver replaced the company's pricier, earlier Rapture V2 driver. Because overcoming a slice is one of this driver's strong points, its release also allowed the company to discontinue the Draw version of the PING G15 driver.

The K15 resembles a slightly larger, slightly flattened G15. Its 460cc head has an ultra-thin crown, and patent-pending "Straight Flight Technology" pushes the center of gravity (CG) low and back to promote a medium to high trajectory. At the same time, an external weight pad shifts the CG closer to the heel than the center, a design which promotes a natural rotation of the club head through impact to deter a slice. And, by increasing the club face's heel-to-toe size, PING increased the size of the hitting area to promote additional ball speed and forgiveness. It all adds up to a design that helps mid- to high-handicappers launch the ball higher, hit the ball longer, and split the fairways down the middle. A straight drive will give you more distance than a slice that ends up in the trees, and long and straight is even better!

Compared to its G15 cousin, the PING K15 driver is a bit wider and longer from front to back. Unlike many maximum game-improvement drivers, it retains a mostly traditional shape instead of being triangular or square. The club is easy to align properly and sits almost square at address. Still, though, its somewhat bulky look will either instill confidence or put you off, depending on your tastes.

Available in 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degree lofts and equipped with the same 45.75" TFC 149D graphite shaft as the G15 (the Aldila Serrano shaft is not offered as a free alternative the way it is with the G15), the K15 is designed for golfers who simply want to hit their drives long, high and straight. But does it deliver?

For me, straight shots came easy with the PING K15 driver, although the trajectory was a bit higher than I like. Fortunately, despite the high trajectory, I did get a little roll after the ball landed because the club's design reduces spin. It's also a very forgiving driver. Off-center hits didn't cause much of a distance loss at all. A bit more feedback regarding where the club face impacted the ball might be handy, however.

I hit the PING K15 driver about the same distance I hit the G15. In other words, it's long, but it's not the longest driver in existence. It is very straight, however, and a straight, long drive down the middle is better than a slightly longer drive that misses the fairway altogether. So all in all, I was very pleased with the length of the PING K15 driver.

The straightness of the PING K15 driver is a blessing for a slicer or someone who hooks the ball, but it's a disadvantage for players trying to work the ball. I have a slight natural draw, and it was hard for me to hit anything other than an almost dead-straight ball even with the center of gravity so low and near the heel.

The Bottom Line: If you're highly skilled , have a high swing speed or you want to work the ball, you should probably look at other alternatives, such as the PING I15 driver. If you have a medium swing speed and you already hit the ball straight or with a slight draw (like me), the PING G15 driver might be a better choice. But, if you're fighting a slice and you're looking for a driver that lets you hit it high and straight, take a long look at the PING K15 driver. You might not find anything that would help your game more, and at a list price of $299, it could be a game-changer.

From PING K15 Driver to Golf Clubs Reviews.

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